A novel entirely of questions

Padgett Powell
Padgett Powell teaches writing at the University of Florida, but "The Interrogative Mood" is his first book in almost a decade
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

Padgett Powell's new book "The Interrogative Mood" begins with some questions.

"Are your emotions pure? Are your nerves adjustable? How do you stand in relation to the potato? Should it still be Constantinople?"

The questions continue. In fact they never stop for 164 pages. Every sentence in "The Interrogative Mood" is a question.

Saul Bellow once described Padgett Powell as one of the best young American writers. But Powell hasn't published in almost a decade.

Padgett Powell says his new book is a novel. But he told Euan Kerr it grew out of irksome emails he received from a particular administrator at the Floridian University where he directs a writing program